“He is a wise man who does not grieve for the things which he has not, but rejoices for those which he has.” ~Epictetus

It’s easy to go through life constantly thinking about what might have gone wrong that day or dwelling on things we could improve in our lives. You know what it’s like. You’ve had a hard day at work, an argument with a friend or you’re worried about your finances and all of a sudden you have worked yourself up into a real state. However, this kind of cumulative negative thinking can be very bad for your health and general well-being if left unchecked and can make a challenging day ten times worse.

One of the most effective things you can do to counteract this spiral of negativity and take back control is to simply start being more aware and grateful of what you do have instead. So rather than concentrating on what is going wrong; why not start focusing on what is going right?

Doing this very quickly reminds you of all the wonderfully positive things in your life and the bad day that you were previously having can be transformed in an instant.

Rather than thinking about problems at work, be grateful that you have a job and an income in the first place. Be grateful you have challenges and that you can learn from these challenges. And rather than being cross with your friend or partner, be thankful that you have a strong network of people in your life to support you (and sometimes challenge you!)

And finally be grateful that you have enough money to buy food and pay the rent. It’s hard to get stressed out over paying bills when you are thankful there is a roof over your head in the first place. Don’t just say the words though – try and really identify and feel the gratitude. By doing this you’ll be amazed how quickly you can help change your mind-set and appreciate all the brilliant things you might have forgotten you had.

Being grateful also reminds you to appreciate others too. The simple act of saying ‘thank you’ to someone can make such a big difference and doesn’t cost a penny. People like being appreciated and by making someone else happy you will, by proxy, make yourself happy too. So when your parents reminded you as a child to remember your Ps and Qs they might have been more right than you ever imagined…

Your Challenge!

a. List ten things about what is good in your life today. If you are feeling really inspired you could even find an old notebook and turn it into your very own gratitude diary to write down whatever you are thankful for on a daily or weekly basis.

Reading it back at a later date will also help re-energise you when you might be feeling a bit low in the future. I find doing it at night before you go to sleep is the best idea. So your subconscious is a good place before you drift off and you can wake up feeling better too!

b. Find the time to call, email or speak to someone in person who has helped you recently to thank them and explain why you are so grateful they are in your life. It will make their day and yours!


“If you woke up this morning with more health than illness, you are more blessed than the million who will not survive the week.

If you have food in your refrigerator, clothes on your back, a roof over your head and a place to sleep, you are richer than 75 percent of the world.

If you have money in the bank or in your wallet, you are among the top 80 percent of the worlds wealthy.

If you hold up your head with a smile on your face and are truly thankful, you are blessed because the majority can, but most do not.”

Author Unknown

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